The transition from Barack Obama to Donald Trump was one of the most surreal moments in modern political history.
On the one hand, you’ve got an articulate, bi-racial, progressive president leaving on record-high approval ratings.
And on the other, you have a bright orange man-baby who seems barely capable of stringing two words together, let alone running the most powerful nation on planet earth.
So yeah, Inauguration Day was weird.
*SEE THE ENTIRE LETTER IN THE PLAYER ABOVE*
There’s a tradition among outgoing presidents to leave a letter in the Oval Office for their successor.
They typically give sage words of wisdom from their time in the White House and offer up their best wishes to the new president.
This one though would’ve been slightly uncomfortable for both parties, given Trump had done things like, say, convincing millions of Americans he was a Kenyan-born Muslim/Antichrist who wanted to watch America burn.
Being the consummate professional, Obama managed to put that to one side and compose a powerful and moving letter with important nuggets of advice – none of which Trump has taken on board.
For instance, the value of humility and the importance of respecting rules and constitution:
“We are just temporary occupants of this office,” Obama wrote.
“Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”
And the need to govern for ALL Americans:
“Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.”
As well as the importance of global stability:
“American leadership in this world really is indispensable.”
“It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.”
In just nine months, Trump has managed to polarise massive swathes of the country with discriminatory policies, try to dismantle the importance of the judicial branch of government and bring the nation to the brink of nuclear war with North Korea.
He should probably give the letter another read.